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Just fitted H&R springs + Bilstein B8's.

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by leecs3, Aug 25, 2006.

  1. leecs3
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    leecs3 thinking about stuff

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    [Aug 25, 2006]
    Just finished getting them on about an hour ago. I've already got H&R ARB's which i got to say handling wise make the biggest improvement and definately the first mod to do.

    On to the springs and dampers, the biggest difference was the car doesn't pitch under braking or acceleration (you know that feeling if you've got a remap). The car does bob more on uneven surfaces but the ride quality has improved massively. All the harshness the S3 suffers is gone. The slight downside is the turn in is not quite as crisp or tight on roundabouts (alignment may sort this).

    Overall the its now a great handling car, its no sports car (lack feel compared to my corrado, but massively better than a std S3) but the best way to describe it is its deceptively fast through the corners ie, 60mph feels like 40mph.
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  3. pablo
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    pablo Member

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    [Aug 25, 2006]
    did you keep std dampers?
    #2
  4. Grant
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    Grant Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 25, 2006]
    The Bilstein B8's are shortened, uprated dampers.
    #3
  5. ChriS3
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    ChriS3 hud at ye bam

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    [Aug 25, 2006]
    Nice one mate. Have you thought about changing the rear arms for adjustable items too?
    #4
  6. pablo
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    pablo Member

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    [Aug 25, 2006]
    missed the B8 bit :(

    can I ask how much the package cost and where from?
    #5
  7. leecs3
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    leecs3 thinking about stuff

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    [Aug 25, 2006]
    not yet, on the list.
    #6
  8. leecs3
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    leecs3 thinking about stuff

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    [Aug 25, 2006]
    The springs were £159(delivered) from DPM and dampers were £370 brand new from the trading post on here. Chris bought them and sold his car before fitting them.
    #7
  9. pablo
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    pablo Member

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    [Aug 25, 2006]
    cool mate thanks :)
    #8
  10. jojo
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    jojo Looking for Boost! Staff Member Moderator

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    [Aug 25, 2006]
    Try playing around with your tyre pressures to improve your front end, go for higher pressures on the rear and notice the difference! What wheels are you running?
    #9
  11. leecs3
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    leecs3 thinking about stuff

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    [Aug 25, 2006]
    8x18" Polished BBS RC at the moment. Hoping to change them for something a little wider once i've finished the corrado's enginebay.
    #10
  12. leecs3
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    leecs3 thinking about stuff

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    [Aug 26, 2006]
    before and after pics. It will probably drop a little more as it settles.


    before
    [​IMG]

    after
    [​IMG]
    #11
  13. jojo
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    jojo Looking for Boost! Staff Member Moderator

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    [Aug 26, 2006]
    NICE!
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  14. Ess_Three
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    Ess_Three Active Member

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    [Aug 26, 2006]
    Why do you want to go wider?
    Why spend all that money giving the S3 some feel..then compromise it by fitting stupidly wide wheels?

    8" wide are plenty for an S3 in any state of tune...any more is just fashion / bling / stupidity.

    The RCs look superb...
    #13
  15. silver75
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    silver75 Big Ron

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    [Aug 26, 2006]
    looks fantastic
    #14
  16. leecs3
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    leecs3 thinking about stuff

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    [Aug 26, 2006]
    because it my car and i'm not happy with the way the current wheels look and its obvious to me driving the car its current limitation is the tyres. You probably wouldn't like the new front splitter i've order too.
    #15
  17. Ess_Three
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    Ess_Three Active Member

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    [Aug 26, 2006]
    Ooh..shirty!!

    Fit spacers if you want the arches filled better...

    If the tyres are the limit on your car, they are either **** tyres or at the wrong pressures...

    My S3 used to hump Evos and STIs round Knockhill on Avon's or Toyos...and there was grip to spare..in many ways still too much grip, to make the car truly adjustable to a keen driver.

    You fit what you like...just don't moan when you negate all the good you've done with your suspension and wheel mods...and end up with a tramlining, understeering, unrewarding car to drive.
    #16
  18. silstream
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    silstream Member

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    [Aug 29, 2006]
    Hi all,

    I've been reading through the latest posts and as much as I love my S3 it's really starting to drive like an old boat these days (85,000 miles and everything stock except the AMD remap 4 months ago).

    So, after reading the various threads and with limited budget of about £600 (not including a further £600 reserved for RS4/RS6 reps and spacers) what should I upgrade first? Replace the tired springs & dampers (with the unanimous H&R & Bistein B8's) or should I leave these and uprate the ARB's instead (which from these posts suggest will have the bigger impact)?

    Any advise much appreciated.

    Pete.
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  19. leecs3
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    leecs3 thinking about stuff

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    [Aug 29, 2006]
    ARB's intially for massive improvement, springs and damper when you can afford them.
    #18
  20. leecs3
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    leecs3 thinking about stuff

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    [Aug 29, 2006]
    Toyo's and Avon are terrible £50 a corner tyres!! I'm on goodyear eagle F1's, which i intend to change for Pirelli PZero's as soon as the goodyears are toast.
    #19
  21. Ess_Three
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    Ess_Three Active Member

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    [Aug 29, 2006]
    I dissagree...
    Standard dampers cannot control bigger ARBs and you put your self in the position where at some point, the ARBs (especially the proportionally much larger rear) will unload, the damper won't cope...and you'll loose control.

    I have written off a great car due to this exact mistake.

    I cannot recommend anyone fit big ARBs on standard dampers as in my view it's DANGEROUS.


    Dampers first every time...on lowered springs if you wish...or even on standard springs. The dampers are the key to the S3s handling in the first instance.
    My first £600 would go into springs, damers and an aggressive suspension alignment.

    If you drive har with big ARBs on standard dampers...it WILL bite you at some point. I reckon I'm fairly handy behind the wheel, and I managed to loose control of the bbest handling FWD car ever made (Integra Type-R) due to making this exact mistake...
    I'd hate others to do the same.
    #20
  22. Ess_Three
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    Ess_Three Active Member

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    [Aug 29, 2006]
    I agree the Avons were *****...but Toyos make grippy tyres (although the T1-R didn't suit my old S3) but the point I'm making is that if you have all that (too much?) grip on bad tyres, why would anyone ruin the handling of their S3 by fitting silly wide wheels and overly wide tyres?

    There is plainly no need for more grip...a well sorted and set-up S3 has more than enough grip on 225s regardless of the torque you try to deploy (330 lb-ft in my old S3s case)
    #21
  23. pablo
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    pablo Member

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    [Aug 29, 2006]
    Ive always like toyo T1-S Proxes. Have them on the 106gti and the 205Mi16. Good tyre imo.
    #22
  24. leecs3
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    leecs3 thinking about stuff

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    [Aug 29, 2006]
    The problem with toyo's is they are grippy but wooly on the limit as there abit to soft and you feel the tread moving. They also tend to crack inbetween the tread blocks too. If you got them and there 6-12months go have a look. I had toyo's on my corrado and switch to Pirelli PZero Nero 's and theres a massive different is ride quality, grip and overall performance. Then again they cost a fair bit more.

    Personally i intend to fit an 8.5" rim with 235 section tyres to increase the amount of grip available.
    #23
  25. Ess_Three
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    Ess_Three Active Member

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    [Aug 29, 2006]
    Me too...loved the T1-Ss...
    Had them for years.
    So good that I used them as trackday wets.

    I don't find the T1-Rs as easy to dial into though..they seem to like higher pressures...and they seem to respond better to being realy thrown about...not as accessible as the T1-Ss were...although outright grip is possibly better.
    Got them on my GTI.
    #24
  26. DPM
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    DPM Site Sponsor Site Sponsor

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    [Aug 29, 2006]
    Interesting comment Ess_Three about the ARB's. From personal experience, all the ARB kits, even those on standard set ups, have improved the S3 dramatically.
    #25
  27. Ess_Three
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    Ess_Three Active Member

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    [Aug 29, 2006]
    I have never found them to be wooly...very precise in fact.
    I know what you mean about the tread blocks moving when new...but that's a bit of feel, and I have no issue with it.


    I disagree...
    I've had T1-Rs on for 1 1/2 years...perfect.
    I had two sets of T1-Ss over 4-5 years...never an issue.
    Never heard of anyone else getting cracks either...

    ...and I had P Zero Neros on my S3 and hated them...took them off and went back onto Avons!
    That's how bad the Pirellis were...


    I really think that if you take the time to set your suspension up properly, you'll not need the wider rubber.
    If you must fit wider wheels then do so...but you really will kill some of the good you've done with your suspension mods so far, going to 235s...it'll go back to being numb.
    #26
  28. Ess_Three
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    Ess_Three Active Member

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    [Aug 29, 2006]
    Maybe the roads are kinder round where you are...
    Maybe you don't push the car as hard...
    But I'd not risk it...I made that mistake once...and won't make it again...nor would I wish anyone else to get caught in the same way.
    If the back end snap-unloads the standard dampers can't control it, and the rear becomes very unstable, very quickly..and you'll most likely loose control.

    Much better to have the dampers on there first...then you remove the chance...

    Hell, the standard S3 dampers are so weak you can get the rear to snap-unload on standard ARBs!
    #27
  29. DPM
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    DPM Site Sponsor Site Sponsor

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    [Aug 29, 2006]
    You have quite a few interesting opinions, each to there own i suppose.
    #28
  30. leecs3
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    leecs3 thinking about stuff

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    [Aug 29, 2006]
    i'll back you up on this. I've never had a car which i've haven't uprated the suspension. By far the biggest improvement has been ARB's as a single component. My corrado has seam welded cross members, subframes, Polybushed, ARB's, Coilovers, upper/lower/rear strut braces and Quaife which is just about everything.

    Absolutely disagree that bigger ARB's on a car with std suspension make it dangerous. Couldn't be further from the truth IMO.
    #29
  31. Ess_Three
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    Ess_Three Active Member

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    [Aug 29, 2006]
    My opinion on ARBs is formed from experience...there is no other way to explain the behaviour of the rear of the car when I crashed it....

    I don't really care if people choose not to listen..it's not my car.
    I've been there, made the mistake, and written one off. I only want people to be aware of the risks..
    #30
  32. Ess_Three
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    Ess_Three Active Member

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    [Aug 29, 2006]
    Neither have I...
    I've also been doing trackdays for 15 years...
    Sprints, Hillclimbs...
    And help others set their cars up...

    And not just 'uprating' but re-engineering...moving mounting points, altering camber, castor, toe, bottom arm angles etc..


    I dissagree that they are the be all and end all...they are a component designed to work with others..you will get a better gain out of springs and dampers for everyday driving. ARBs are the next major change to alter the chassis attitude to cornering.

    The risk of big ARBs of knackered dampers isn't a flippant comment..it's reality.
    Maybe you don't drive hard enough for it to be an issue...but it IS a possibility.


    My GTI has the same..and more...
    I do know what I'm talking about.


    Your opinion...
    In gereral driving, yes, it's an improvement...but if yu really push on, there is still the oportunint for the back to want to unoad where the damper hasn't got the cntrol to stop it...standard S3 dampers are ****...they can barely control standard springs and ARBs never mind ARBs which are 2 - 2 1/2 time stiffer.
    It's basic physics gents...
    And the results can be a big smash. I know, I've been there...
    #31
  33. pablo
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    pablo Member

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    [Aug 29, 2006]
    Im taking the damper/spring step first then ARBs. I dont have the experience of them but it seems the logical step.
    #32
  34. fingermouse
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    fingermouse thats me

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    [Aug 29, 2006]
    Im still trying to justify new springs and dampers (car currently done 43k)

    looked at various set ups, as I wont be doing track days are coil overs worth it ??? or should I just get billys with h&r`s ???
    #33
  35. pablo
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    pablo Member

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    [Aug 29, 2006]
    I comprimised and went for the koni kit. If its bad I will just put the H&R springs on the koni shocks or something and sell on the springs.
    #34
  36. tommo-turbo
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    tommo-turbo Member

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    [Aug 29, 2006]
    Hey all!

    Been reading into the whole suspension set up debate over the last couple of days (not been a member long!), and I'm interested in upgrading to the bilstein shocks and H&R springs. My question (Ess Three?) is how much should I lower my S3 using the H&R springs, and is this set up compatible with the Haldex performance ecu upgrade? Was gonna trump for that, but I'm not in to spending the cash if it negates the obviously tried and tested setup we're talking about here!

    Sorry for the long post guys! :shutup2:

    Rich
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  37. leecs3
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    leecs3 thinking about stuff

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    [Aug 29, 2006]
    Bear with me while i resize these pics. lol can argue all day about this but getting bored of it now and pic's say more than words. I'll leave it at that.

    I also know what i'm talking about ;-)
    [​IMG]

    and heres my problem with toyo's.
    [​IMG]
    #36
  38. ChriS3
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    ChriS3 hud at ye bam

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    [Aug 29, 2006]
    The H&R springs will lower the S3 25-30mm, and shouldn't interfere with the upgraded Haldex unit. The Haldex upgrade is a great compliment to a good chassis set-up, definately worth it.
    #37
  39. tommo-turbo
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    tommo-turbo Member

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    [Aug 29, 2006]
    Cheers ChriS3! To my dismay I've just been informed I've got a slow puncture... :(

    Looks like a new set of tyres before I set off on my chassis modifying journey... :sob:

    Rich
    #38
  40. Ess_Three
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    Ess_Three Active Member

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    [Aug 29, 2006]
    If you want my opinion...the standard S3 stuff is dire...it's barely acceptable when new, and mine was soggy at 6000 miles old.
    At 43k, I'd say you'd get a huge improvement be binning it and fitting something more suitable.


    I wouldn't fit coilovers.
    I have them on my road/track Golf GTI...I've used them before...but in the case of the S3 I don't believe you need to.

    Coilovers let you set the ride height...H&R or Eibach springs give a great ride height as it is...so that advantage of coilovers has gone.

    Some coilovers allow adjustable damping..you have no idea how many people mess up their car by not having a clue how to set up dampers!
    If you can find a set of absolutely perfectly damped dampers...you don't need adjustable damping.

    I have always ended up with adjustable dampers in the past....but the Bilstein dampers are PERFECT. I couldn't have set them any better if I'd messed with adjustable dampers for years.

    Bilstein PSS9s are apparently good...but I don't see the need.
    The Eibach coilovers are harsher than the H&R / Bilstein combo...and have far less superior suspension control when driven hard.

    I just don't believe the H&R / Bilstein combo can be bettered for the money...
    Sure, you can spend more, get fancy coilovers which you'll set to the same ride height (if you have any sense) and end up with the same damping characteristics. So what do you gain?
    An emptier wallet...and being able to tell your mates you've got coilovers! Wow!
    I'll take the proven H&R / Bilstein combo, thanks.

    It just works...
    #39
  41. Ess_Three
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    Ess_Three Active Member

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    [Aug 29, 2006]
    Couldn't have said it better...cheers Chris!
    #40

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